skyscrapers on the waterfront
Montréal, Canada. Photo ©

Marc-Olivier Jodoin, used under licence and adapted from the original.

Am I eligible for a placement in Canada?

To be a Language Assistant in Canada, you must:

  • fulfil the general eligibility criteria
  • hold a UK or Irish passport
  • have B1-level French
  • be aged 35 or under on 1 September 2020.

When will I start my placement?

Posts in Canada run from 1 September 2020 to 31 May 2021.

Will there be an induction course?

You will be invited to attend a pre-departure day at the British Council in London in June. This is an opportunity to meet other assistants, get advice on personal safety and other topics, and ask former assistants about life in Quebec.

You will also be expected to attend an introductory meeting in Montreal at the end of August.

How many hours will I work per week?

Language Assistants in Canada can expect to work approximately 18 hours per week.

Please be aware that the number of hours and your specific timetable and working pattern can vary depending on the region and institution that you are allocated to.

How many posts are available in Canada?

Every year there are approximately 30 posts available in French-speaking Canada. Candidates will be placed on a waiting list if they are not immediately successful in gaining a post. 

What type of institution will I be working in?

The majority of posts are in primary and secondary schools. There are also a small number of posts available in adult education centres.

How much will I be paid?

You can expect to earn approximately CAD $1,700 net per month.

Please note that our overseas partners and employing institutions are ultimately responsible for setting the salary of language assistants and this amount should therefore be treated as indicative and may be subject to change.

Will I need a visa?

Yes, assistants going to Canada will have to apply for a work permit. We will give guidance on this if you are selected for a post in Canada.

Please note that visa requirements can change at short notice, and the British Council cannot be held responsible for any changes to the visa process.

What holidays will I have?

In Canada the academic calendar runs from August to May. Typically, assistants can expect to receive the same school and national holidays as their institution.  

Where can I go in Canada?

Almost all the posts in French-speaking Canada are in small towns (population 5,000-15,000) and in rural areas of Quebec along the St Lawrence River and on the Gaspé Peninsula. These areas are not bilingual: the only language spoken is French.

A post in Canada can be a very rewarding experience, but you need to think carefully about whether living in such a rural location is for you. The long and extreme winter makes a significant difference to the lifestyle, and temperatures of -25 degrees Celsius are not unusual. What's more, intercity public transport is limited. This all makes it especially important to research Quebec before you apply.

I've worked as a Language Assistant in Canada – can I apply again?

Assistants currently working in Canada can apply for a consecutive year. This is not done through the British Council: contact Éducation Internationale for more information. You must make this decision around February time. You can ask to remain at the same school or change school, and applications must include a letter of recommendation from your current school.